Ninety‐six patients referred for radiation therapy to Washington University affiliated institutions with tumors of the extrahepatic biliary tree form the basis of this report. Patients were examined with regard to demographic factors, tumor primary site, presenting symptoms, methods of diagnosis, and methods of management. The median survival of all 96 patients in this series was 11 months. There was no significant difference between patients with gallbladder cancer and patients with cancer of the biliary ductal system. There was a statistically significant improvement in survival in those patients undergoing resection as management or as a component of the management of their tumors (P = 0.02). Patients receiving >4,000 cGy of radiation therapy had an improved survival compared to those patients receiving ≤4,000 cGy of radiation therapy (P = 0.003). While surgical resection improved survival for those patients undergoing removal of all gross tumor, this effect was noted especially in patients with gallbladder cancer. © Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- extrahepatic biliary duct